Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

So let’s say I’ve had five speeding tickets in British Columbia in the last five years with a Quebec licence. Sure B.C. demerit points don’t follow me back to Quebec, but will they get added to my licence if I want to change my residency to B.C.?

Jonas


When it comes to traffic tickets, what happens in British Columbia stays in British Columbia.

Story continues below advertisement

That means any tickets you get in B.C. on an out-of-province driver’s licence won’t show up on your driver’s abstract back home.

“At this point in time, out-of-province motor vehicle tickets are not applied to B.C. driving records,” said Lindsay Wilkins, spokeswoman for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the province’s government-run insurer.

Essentially, your home province will never know that you got the tickets.

But, if you move to B.C., any tickets you got there since June 2019 will show up on your new B.C. licence, Wilkins said.

Depending on how many tickets you have and the number of penalty points – B.C.’s version of demerits – that came with them, you might have to pay a driver risk premium.

In B.C., speeding tickets each come with three points.

If you have more than 15 penalty points, that brand new B.C. licence might even be suspended.

Story continues below advertisement

Abstract rules?

B.C. is one of two provinces that don’t share demerits and driving records with anywhere else.

Most provinces and territories signed the Canadian Driver Licence Compact (CDLC), a 1990 agreement to share demerits and driving records.

Generally, certain tickets, including speeding tickets, that you get in a CDLC province will show up on your record in every other CDLC province.

The means that if you get a speeding ticket on your Alberta licence in Newfoundland, for instance, it will show up on your Alberta record.

But B.C., Quebec and Nunavut didn’t sign the CDLC – although Quebec has its own sharing agreements with Ontario, Maine and New York.

So, if you’ve got a Quebec licence, only Ontario, Maine and New York tickets will show up on your driving record. Likewise, any demerits that came with the tickets would get added to your Quebec licence.

Story continues below advertisement

B.C. tickets won’t show up on your record in any province. Demerits don’t get shared either.

But even when tickets aren’t shared, they’ll stay in the system of the province where you got them.

The sharing rules only apply to provincial traffic tickets. Criminal Code convictions, including impaired driving, show up on your record everywhere in Canada.

Point break?

So why do your records and demerits matter?

In most provinces, insurers look at tickets you’ve collected in the last three years when they set your rates.

For instance, in Ontario, a single speeding ticket could cost you $25 or $30 more every month in insurance.

Story continues below advertisement

While demerit points don’t affect your insurance rates directly in most provinces, if you get too many, your licence could be suspended

Do you have to switch your licence when you move?

Generally, yes – although most provinces have exemptions for students.

If you don’t, you could face fines if you’re pulled over by police.

In most provinces, you have to switch within 90 days of becoming a resident. You’ve got 60 days in Ontario, four months in Prince Edward Island and six months in Quebec.

Have a driving question? Send it to globedrive@globeandmail.com and put ‘Driving Concerns’ in your subject line. Emails without the correct subject line may not be answered. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies